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Bong Joon-ho's Parasite is virtually certain to win the Oscar for Best International Film, and it is not out of the running for Best Picture or Best Director, either. It unanimously won Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and critics has lauded it as the greatest film of an exceptionally strong year, and perhaps even one of the best of the decade. It has brought belated, much-deserved attention to South Korean Cinema. By any measure, it has been a success that has likely exceeded the wildest dreams of anyone associated with it. What, then, should be made of the existence of a black & white version set for a theatrical release this year?
"The reward goes to my wife. Can I trust you?" Film Movement has debuted the first official trailer for The Wild Goose Lake, a stunningly gorgeous modern noir gangster film from China. This premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and stopped by the Toronto and New York Film Festivals in the film. Hu Ge plays a gangster named Zhou Zenong on the run, who sacrifices everything for his family and a woman he meets while on the lam. This features "gorgeous, neon-drenched cinematography and bursts of shocking, expertly choreographed action." I caught this in Cannes and loved it, the cinematography is some of the best I've ever seen (read my full review). Also starring Lun-Mei Kwei, Fan Liao, Regina Wan, Dao Qi, Hua Hua, and Jue Huang. Highly recommend discovering this gem to anyone else that digs slick noir thrillers.
"Someone has to save our people." Greenwich Ent. has released a full official trailer for Yaron Zilberman's film Incitement, which was Israel's submission to the Oscars. This premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and we posted the teaser trailer a few months ago. The film chronicles the events and experiences that turned a promising law student into a delusional ultra-nationalist. Convinced he must stop the signing of the peace treaty in order to fulfill his destiny and bring salvation to his people, a devoted Orthodox Jew named Yigal Amir sees only one way forward - assassinate the Prime Minister. Described as a "gripping and unnerving look through the eyes of a murderer who silenced a powerful voice for peace." Starring Yehuda Nahari Halevi as Yigal, Daniella Kertesz, Sivan Mast, Amitayyaish Ben Ousilio, Amat Ravnitzki. This is an excellent trailer, the grainy footage in 4:3 mixed with archival footage makes it extra compelling.
"At the end of the day, we're all Monsters, aren't we…?" Net Films, Dreamfilms, and Asgard International have unveiled the first official trailer for an experimental new take on the "Frankenstein" story from Greece, titled simply Frankenstein, or Φrankenstein. Directed by Costas Zapas, it is described as "an enticing, refreshing take of the classic novel that re-introduces its iconic characters in a gothic film for an entirely new viewers generation. A haunted fairytale in a graphic novel film." The plot follows a young woman who interviews a theatre troupe in town to perform "Frankenstein", confronted with the dark heroes of the novel. Starring Elli Tsitsipa, Andonis Goritsas, Dimitra Hatoupi, Vassilis Bisbikis, Danai Papoutsi, Demetre Georgalas, and Nikolitsa Drizi; with Louis Mandylor. This looks way too experimental and way too stylized, lacking much substance. Maybe watch Larry Fessendens's Depraved instead? Check it out.
"If I tell you everything, who'd have the guts to go in and put out the fire?" Sony Pictures has released an official US trailer for the Chinese action movie The Bravest, which originally opened in China last July. The epic fire disaster movie is about a group of Chinese firefighters who struggle to contain a huge fire after an oil pipeline explodes. The story is based on a real-life incident, the Xingang Port oil spill, and chronicles the firefighters' efforts to protect a city from the massive fire. Starring Huang Xiaoming, Du Jiang, Tan Zhuo, Yang Zi, Zhang Zehan, Gu Jiacheng, Yin Xiaotian, & Gao Ge. The Chinese are clearly getting better and better at making movies that look and sound like big Hollywood blockbusters. This looks intense.
"I always had a feeling that she was hiding something." Film Movement has released an official US trailer for an Icelandic drama titled A White, White Day, arriving in US theaters in February. This premiered in Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival last year, where Ingvar Sigurdsson won Best Actor; then it played at the Karlovy Vary, Toronto, Camerimage, Helsinki, Athens, & Zurich Film Festivals. In a remote Icelandic town, an off duty police chief begins to suspect another local man had an affair with his wife, who recently died in a car accident. Gradually his obsession for finding out the truth grows too big and inevitably begins to endanger himself and his loved ones. "Combining classic thriller tropes with a distinctly Nordic arthouse sensibility." Starring Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ída Mekkín Hlynsdóttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Ingi Hilmarsson and Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdóttir. This looks chilling and captivating, a worthy discovery.
"You want to be the good guy?" RLJE + Shudder have just debuted a new official US trailer for a Taiwanese indie horror film titled Mon Mon Mon Monsters, which is the direct translation of the original title. This actually premiered back in 2017, and played at festivals throughout 2017 and 2018. It's only now getting an official Blu-ray release in the US and of course there's a new trailer for it. Considering this got lost in the mix over the last few years, we thought it'd be fun to feature the latest trailer anyway – even if we're a year late. The film is about a group of teenagers that capture a man-eating monster. Starring Eugenie Liu, Pei-Hsin Lin, Carolyn Chen, Yu-Kai Deng, and Kent Tsai. This looks like it could be good, the monster FX look solid, and it seems to be a scary commentary on "monster" people in the real world. Check it out below.
"He endured iniquity from many people." Eureka Entertainment has unveiled an official UK trailer for the Czech war drama The Painted Bird, originally titled Nabarvené ptáce in Czechia. This premiered at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last fall, and is Czechia's official submission to this year's Academy Awards (for last year). Written & directed by Czech filmmaker Václav Marhoul (of Smart Philip, Tobruk), adapted from Jerzy Kosinski's classic novel of the same name, it's about a young Jewish boy wandering around Eastern Europe alone during WWII. The raw B&W 35mm film is described as an "evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of World War II." The Painted Bird is a deeply dramatic story examining the immediate relationship between terror and cruelty on one side and innocence and love on the other. The film stars Petr Kotlár as The Boy, along with Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands, Lech Dyblik, Aleksey Kravchenko, Petr Vaněk, & Barry Pepper. Take a look below.
"Dancing isn't for you, don't you get it?" Music Box Films has released an official US trailer for the indie Georgian dance film And Then We Danced, which was Sweden's official film submission to the Academy Awards this year (sadly it did not make the shortlist). The story is about a carefree dancer named Irakli who arrives at the National Georgian Ensemble, causing fellow dancer Merab to push himself more all the while he falls hard for him. The film is an "interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free." This stars Ana Javakhishvili, Anano Makharadze, Bachi Valishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Levan Gelbakhiani, Ninutsa Gabisonia. Don't miss this! The film was one of the most beloved discoveries at Cannes this year, and I can also attest that it's a wonderful, empowering, and exuberant film. I highly recommend seeing this as soon as you have a chance.
"I'm on the verge… of forgiving you." IFC Films has debuted the official US trailer for the latest film from acclaimed / beloved Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, who also won the Cannes Palme d'Or last year for Shoplifters. He premiered his latest film titled The Truth (also known as Shinjitu in Japanese, or La vérité in French) at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, and it also played at the Toronto, Zurich, and Chicago Film Festivals. Made in France and also set in France, Kore-eda's The Truth is about a stormy reunion between a daughter and her actress mother, Catherine, against the backdrop of Catherine's latest role in a sci-fi picture as a mother who never grows old. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke,Ludivine Sagnier, and Roger Van Hool. Worth a watch just for these legendary actors.
"This world belongs to me!" High Octane Pictures has released an official trailer for a Russian sci-fi movie titled A Rough Draft, formerly known as just The Draft. This super trippy, weird techno-thriller is about a video game designer who is stripped of his identity and then recruited by a mysterious group to be the gatekeeper of a multi-dimensional portal. He learns to open the portals to a variety of parallel worlds which represent alternative versions of Moscow: a steampunk Imperial Russia, a post-apocalyptic tropic resort world, a dystopian Gulag world, and a highly advanced utopian world. Over time, Kirill learns that our Earth is a rough draft, a setting for social experiments secretly staged by the government of the utopian world, in order to avoid our mistakes. Starring Nikita Volkov, Yevgeny Tkachuk, Olga Borovskaya, and Yulia Peresild. This looks like a crazy concept for a movie, perhaps just a bit too ambitious to pull it off properly.
"If I was a girl, this would never had happened." Screen has debuted the first official trailer for a film titled Cook F**k Kill, which is not as lighthearted as that title makes it seem. Described as an "absurd drama", the film is directed by a Czech filmmaker named Mira Forney and deals with domestic abuse - about a man who loves to cook, fuck, and, well, kill. "Seen through the prism of a metaphor, the film is an intimate story about family or 'the most aggressive group within a society, with the exception of the army and the police', as Fornay states." Meaning the family, how people inside their home are abusive even if they're nice outside. Starring Jaroslav Plesl, Petra Fornayová, Regina Rázlová, Jan Alexander, Jazmína Cigánková. This premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and will likely arrive in the US sometime next year.